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Louis C.K. On Why He Cast A Black Actress To Be The Mother Of His White Kids In 'Louie;' But Who Is She?

by Tambay A. Obenson
June 27, 2012 1:47 PM
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UPDATE 4:30PM: First, in response to my question below about who the actress is, Alison Willmore over at the mothership (indieWIRE) got the answer. The actress' name is Susan Kelechi Watson (photo with C.K. above). Not familiar? Neither was I, so I looked up her IMDB profile and saw that she's done a lot of TV, with parts in shows like The Good Wife, NCIS, Private Practice, and others. She's also done some work in film (she was in Jerry LaMothe's Blackout in 2007).

Secondly, in Alison's piece, C.K. talked specifically about Watson's casting and the fact that she's black, stating:

To me, the racial thing is like -- when people probably first see her, their brains do a little bit of DNA map and go "I'm not sure I get how that would happen," and then I think with my show most people, they go "Oh, all right, just go ahead." And then they watch the scene. The thing that's important is what's getting said. I think that her performances are really compelling and I like what that character brings out in the stories and in me on the show. To me that trumped whatever... logistical notion. 

He says much more that I think is worth reading, so click over HERE to check out the rest of the piece.

My original post from earlier today follows below:

With what will likely be a comment/joke that stirs up some controversy, aside... What's really funny about this video revelation is that no one seems to know who the actress is that was cast in the part. I first heard the news via Huffington Post, where I also saw the clip; but within their article, there's no mention of who the actress is. 

So I searched the web, and saw that several other sites had picked up on HuffPo's story, but none of them had the answer to that question, nor did they even seem to wonder, because no one asked. 

I checked the show's Facebook page, Twitter, FX's website, sent a message on Facebook and on Twitter (no replies yet), but nothing about who this black actress is. 

Nothing on IMDB or IMDBPro either. 

Bizarre, right?

So as of right now, I guess her name is "Black Actress."

So I'm now wondering if she's supposed to be a secret until tomorrow night's season 3 debut - Thursday at 10:30PM ET on FX.

If anybody knows who the mystery black actress is, spill!

In the meantime... watch the clip below.

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  • CFF | July 6, 2012 4:24 PMReply

    I thought she was fabulous, and such a treat to the show, Im so happy he added some new energy overall, regardless....and she is a very good actress...

  • the black police | July 2, 2012 1:37 AMReply

    So did anyone watch the show after all this uproar. I mean its Monday and theres been no talk back or reference post of any sort...

  • the black police | July 2, 2012 11:25 AM

    Good. I guess thats why there was no talkback or post on it. Cuz it was uncontroversial. Look blacks can be added in film/tv without controversy!

  • Akimbo | July 2, 2012 4:53 AM

    Yup. Louis gets a motorcycle, promptly gets in an accident, & has to call his wife to tell her he can't pick up the girls. When she learns he's in the hospital, she's super worried, until she learns what put him there. She calls him a dumbass. That's pretty much it so far. Not stereotypical or controversial, just very New York.

  • Barbara | June 28, 2012 1:53 PMReply

    First you have the "Northrop" slave story Nigerian-American woman as the star. Now you have the Jamaica-American woman with Louis CK. It seems from Louis' comment about Black women, he is referring to a specific character which is the "native" Black American woman. Our character and those of our Caribbean and African sisters are different.

    White people tend to just grab a Black face and start attribute the American Slave history to it, no matter where that Black person is from, or that person's culture.

    Let's hope that these women will make us proud as another Caribbean (Ceicly Tyson). Let's hope they do not try to act like us based on the sterotypes our society has protrayed us to the world as. In other words, no Cooning, no Mammy, no Sapphire. I think Louis CK may be looking for the Sapphire type.

  • anon | June 28, 2012 1:25 PMReply

    is this woman even black or biracial if she is biracial then of coure she could have kids that look white this is such a non story smh.....

  • Kid chaos | June 27, 2012 11:52 PMReply

    All black actress should just do white men shows the only way they can be famous and work.

  • amanda | June 28, 2012 8:40 AM

    thats the dumbest thing i have heard this morning....

  • the black police | June 28, 2012 12:10 AM

    LOL. Extermination! Chill, cop. Free speech for all.

  • COMMENT POLICE | June 28, 2012 12:02 AM


  • Christian-Joy | June 27, 2012 11:19 PMReply

    I understand why he's cast a black get me to watch the show. Now, I must see it.

  • the black police | June 27, 2012 9:50 PMReply

    Y'all are not serious. The woman has an official website: You could have found a good pic of her there...

  • the black police | June 28, 2012 12:03 AM

    Yes, we get it: whites have privilege in the Western world (and the world at large?) and blacks are the bottom of the barrel! So, so funny!. My tummy is in stitches...

  • COMMENT POLICE | June 28, 2012 12:00 AM


  • the black police | June 27, 2012 11:46 PM

    Yay, race comedy! "...I'm saying that BEING white is clearly better..."

  • COMMENT POLICE | June 27, 2012 11:30 PM


  • the black police | June 27, 2012 11:15 PM

    Whats the big deal about this C.K. fellow? Clue me in.

  • COMMENT POLICE | June 27, 2012 11:01 PM


  • the black police | June 27, 2012 10:55 PM

    I guess... I just dont see how C.K. fits into the "African diaspora" and then they chose one blurry, practically-faceless pic

  • COMMENT POLICE | June 27, 2012 10:21 PM


  • darkamethyst | June 27, 2012 9:05 PMReply

    I commend the guy for thinking outside of the box. Susan is a beast of an actress. It's about time she got a break that everyone will notice. I'm not sure why it's such a big deal that no one knows who she is. There are a lot of talented black actors and actresses who go unnoticed because they never get the opportunity due to the industries scarcity of storytelling and roles that would include black actors. In contrast, a new crop of white performers are "discovered" every year. This problem is not just white hollywood's failure to recognize new black talent. It is equally the fault of black hollywood. Black producers and directors rarely gives black actors a break until white producers and directors have done it first. No one can call what this man said stereotypical until you see the execution of the idea. And I happen to know that this actress has the intelligence to execute the idea with wit, tact and grace. I'm sure that's why she was chosen.

  • ronette | June 27, 2012 8:53 PMReply

    This is brilliant, I wish more people would do this. He doesn't even need to explain it, come up with your own reasons, maybe they're adopted, maybe they're from a previous marriage... etc... Who cares! Good work.

  • Adam Scott Thompson | June 27, 2012 7:24 PMReply

    The man makes me laugh... HARD... REPEATEDLY.

  • Ava | June 27, 2012 4:38 PMReply

    Apparently, if reports are to be believed, her name is Susan Kelechi Watson. There is a still of her from the series Private Practice posted on the Internet. In a twist of personal irony, while looking up her bio information, I discovered that she is a child of Jamaican parents (both). She has extensive dance training and was handpicked by Phylicia Rashad to study Shakespeare at a London theatre. All I know for now. She is also an alum of Howard University, like Rashad.

  • Tambay | June 27, 2012 4:35 PMReply

    FYI FOLKS - the post has been updated. Look up ^^^

  • i dont know if we can angry at this one... | June 27, 2012 4:07 PMReply

    jeez. lay off. he did something good. me thinks. too much over analyzing. enjoy the show. phewf, another black woman is working.

  • kara | June 28, 2012 8:42 AM

    well said...

  • Akimbo | June 27, 2012 3:07 PMReply

    Love Louis C.K., think his show is brilliant, consider him very enlightened on various subjects, including race. My only reservation about his wife being black is related to continuity. I'm pretty sure in the episode in which he fantasized about/was trying to hook up with a black cashier, that they'd indicated he'd never been with a black woman before. But whatever; excited about the premiere regardless.

  • troy | June 27, 2012 4:20 PM

    Dick Gregory is enlightened. I think Luis is funny at times but enlightened. He doesnt think that deep. That special with Gervais, Seinfeld, Chris Rock and him enlightened me about him and how lame Rock is to black comedians cause these guys are his peers. Rock seemed to like him cause he isnt afraid to make racist jokes in his presence. That alone made Seinfeld uncomfortable. This is a Black Baby Mama trope Luis picked up from the comedy clubs. An "Elvis-isms" black music sounds better out a white mouth so does comedy. I have white and mixed great grandparents on mother and father's side. Im Yaphet Cotto complexion, haha.

  • Akimbo | June 27, 2012 4:14 PM

    Considering how great the show is, I'm more than willing to overlook it.

  • the black police | June 27, 2012 4:00 PM

    Um... "Fail!" at the team behind the show then.

  • Dean | June 27, 2012 3:02 PMReply

    Mark, by the way, Victoria Rowell is not black. She's mixed, mulatto, biracial so it makes sense that her daughter by a white man (and/or other than a black man) would not look black, afterall that daughter is 3/4 not black. This one-drop theory is quite racist. Please drop it. I have because I reject racism in all its forms and permutations.

  • Mark | June 27, 2012 3:39 PM

    You didn't read my comment. I said a 'black' (notice how I put black in quotes) woman with white ancestry. Also, you do realize that the majority of black Americans are mixed-race regardless of phenotype?

    It's nice that you reject the One Drop Rule. I'm not one-dropping Rowell. She considers herself black. In the United States, many people refer to themselves as African-American to reflect African ancestry and also acknowledging that they come in different colors.

    Muhammad Ali, Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. both had a white grandparent. Do you not consider them black? Good luck finding many black Americans who have only African ancestry. Al Sharpton, Blair Underwood, Morgan Freeman, Tina Turner, and Chris Tucker all have white ancestry according to their DNA tests.

    This is Garcelle Beauvais. She's a Hatian-American. She has a dark brown complexion. Her ex-husband, the father of her two young sons is white. These are her children:

    At this point, I let people define themselves.

  • Mark | June 27, 2012 2:35 PMReply

    It's certainly possible for a 'black' woman to have white looking children if that 'black' woman has some white ancestry and the children's father also has white ancestry. Look at Victoria Rowell and her daughter Maya ( or Garcelle Beauvais and her sons or Eartha Kitt and her daughter.

    Of course, on "Louie," we don't know if the mother is the biological mother.

  • BettyB | June 27, 2012 2:01 PMReply

    Love Louis C.K.! One of the best shows on cable.

  • Unyquely Kim | May 22, 2014 1:27 AM

    I agree!

  • the black police | June 27, 2012 1:54 PMReply

    "...When a black woman tells you to get a job..." What the fuck is that supposed to mean?

  • julius hollingsworth | June 28, 2012 6:58 AM

    This was done by Spielberg in one of the Jurisack park movies.Where the Father did not explain his black daughter it just is.It is what ,it is.I also like the reality in real life Mr.Spielberg has two black children.It is what it is.God Bless him.

  • misha | June 27, 2012 8:27 PM

    It means that they are cultural differences in the way we express ourselves....or at least, that's what I gathered from reading his statement in context. I don't have a problem with what he said...unless he's merely interested in perpetuating stereotypes. I'll reserve judgment on that until after I watch.

  • Man-Over-Bored | June 27, 2012 6:11 PM

    It means he's perpetuating the stereotype that Black women have extreme attitudes.

  • Mark | June 27, 2012 2:36 PM

    You're supposed to insert images of a stereotypical strong-willed, sharp-tongued black woman.

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